Nationally known clarinetist Anthony McGill made history by becoming the first African-American section leader in the New York Philharmonic.

McGill’s appointment to the position is among several changes occurring in the symphony. 

From The New York Times:

Mr. McGill, a rising star who played at President Obama’s inauguration and has performed as a soloist at concert halls around the country, will become the Philharmonic’s first African-American principal player when he starts there in the fall.

The changing roster of musicians is perhaps the most visible manifestation of the transformation underway at the Philharmonic, the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States.

Read more at The New York Times

The Philharmonic is regarded as the standard bearer of American orchestras, but has made slow progress in terms of racial diversity.

 In 1962, violinist Sanford Allen became the first full-time African-American member. There have been few people of color, other than Asians or Asian-Americans, since.

Congratulations on making history Mr. McGill!

Do you think Mr. McGill’s appointment will open the door to more African-Americans being included in fine arts?

Sound off below!